I've been collecting seashells for as long as I can remember. From east to west, coast to coast, and shore to shore, I always find a treasure to keep, and adore.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Cranberry Cravings

Hello! Greetings from Paradise :)

I know I have been away for a while (like a month!) but we'll discuss that another time.

Today I want to share my recent adventure at Epcot®, and another Evening with Ocean Spray®!
I was invited to an exclusive event, where I sampled some amazing food made with cranberries. Cranberry sauces, cranberry dips, glazes, chutneys, in everything from entrees, to side dishes, and desserts. Wow! The chefs at Epcot ® went all out for this one!

Everything was so very delicious!

Kobe Beef and Craisin Vegetable Fried Rice

Craisin Glazed Pork Belly with White Cheddar Grits
Cranberry & Sea Salt Cured Wild Salmon with Maple Sugar Crystals
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Craisin Ketchup

Two of the cranberry growers! Todd May & Peter Beaton

I have mentioned before what a big fan of cranberries I am :) I love the juice straight with nothing added, and the sparkling cranberry is very refreshing too.

Did you know the cranberry is a super fruit? It sure is! They are loaded with antioxidants. Just 1/4 cup of dried cranberries, or 8oz of juice provide 1/4 of your daily fruit needs! Besides that, they are just dang good! And now Ocean Spray® makes Trail Mix, too!

I usually just eat Craisins® right out of the bag, or make my signature Cranberry Cookies. (My kids STILL ask for these, even though they are adults.) I came up with this recipe shortly after Craisins® debuted in the early 90's, because to tell the truth I'm not a fan of chocolate chip cookies. Gasp! I know, weird, huh? I'll share my recipe with you soon, as well as everything that's been going on around here. I have so much to tell you! A couple of years ago I stumbled onto a recipe for Cranberry Cheesecake Bars, and they really are to die for! I'll share that with you too! You can find many recipes at OceanSpray.com , and become a member of the cranberry club. I did! You can share your cranberry recipes with them too, on the website, their Pinterest, and Facebook, and Instagram. You can click on those and it will take you right to it :)

I really love the fact that many Ocean Spray growers are family, and have been doing this and passing it down for generations. Ocean Spray is one big happy family of 700 growers!

If you get a chance to go to Epcot® during the Food and Wine Festival this year, you too can eat your way around the world, and drink your way around it too! My daughter did just that, starting her day with a Scotch Flight, which was 3 shots of Scotch. She said the 18 year Scotch was the smoothest. I've never tried Scotch, and won't get the chance to, unfortunately. (Darn Lupus!) She also had the Tequila Flight (3 shots of Tequila's) and various other alcohol based concoctions. Her fave food at the Festival is always the grilled
Greek cheese. She always gets this, and Friday she had it twice! I've been trying to pick a favorite, but I ate so many good things it's really hard to choose. I do have a way now to get my son Kyle to eat cooked spinach! Spanakopita!!!! Phyllo is on my grocery list :)

We didn't get to visit The Land this time (where the amazing greenhouses of Epcot® are) but we did get in to see The Sea, and Nemo and Friends. I got to ride in a seashell!!!!! I could live in that building. There are huge tanks, and small tanks, everything from coral growing, to many baby clown fish, seahorse, starfish, manatees, dolphin and rays, I even saw a shark. There's an elevator in the building for us disabled folks, too.

You've just got to go and see for yourself!

There's so much to see and do! And TASTE!

Make sure you check out the cranberry bog!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Elegant Shell Craft

Hello! I'm so glad you could join me today! I have something FUN!

I thought of this last year, started playing around with it at the beginning of the year, and you know how my year has been going LOL. I finally got back to playing with this, and really like the results!

You know my eldest daughter is an extraordinary paper crafter. She makes beautiful cards and scrapbook pages, and has been published many times, and has some new cards being published in a few months. I'm so proud of her! She has been nagging me for years to scrapbook and make cards. I can't cut a straight line to save my life! BUT I needed to try this thing....on shells. So I actually have been delving into the arts of paper crafting, and EMBOSSING!!!

I love the way it looks! They turned out great! It WORKS!

You CAN emboss on seashells :)

So pretty! I used Stampin'Up! Embossing Powder on these. Love the colors! Wild Wasabi and Tempting Turquoise. (I did NOT get freebies to endorse them...but  wouldn't mind if I did ;) Just sayin'! LOL)

All you need to do this: a heat embossing gun, Versamark stamp pad, stamps, and embossing powder. Oh, and shells. The more flat and smooth they are, the better.

I do love this, even the imperfections, and the natural growth lines in the shell come through the embossing where the lines are more pronounced. I used a gold embossing powder that I bought at JoAnn in an assorted package. I think this looks like it has been gold leafed.

I used copper from the same package on this seashorse. You can see a few bubbles on the seahorse shells, from overheating. A word of CAUTION: The shells get VERY HOT!  I lay mine on a ceramic tile that I also use for a paint pallet. Let it cool before you pick it up!

These would make nice ornaments, package tags, in shadow boxes, and I have a few more ideas.

This is one of the first that I played with. It is a single image, it shadowed in the photo for some reason. I took this one with my phone to text it to my daughter a few months ago. BUT. This is one that I used a different glue pad with. I wasn't happy with the miss spots. Versamark doesn't do this. How I wish I had known to use Versamark in the beginning! They didn't pay me either :P But you should know which is the best one to use, right?!

This is really FUN to do! When you see the embossing powder take on a shine, it just POPS! So pretty. So addictive!

No time for paper crafts today!
This post is long enough :D

Have you ever done any embossing? Do you think you'll do some now?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

More Ways to Display Shells

In my last post I was showing you what I had done around the living room to display some of my shells. Moving on to the dining room now.

Tall vases, short vases, candle holders...any clear glass container makes a fine shell display.

The top of an oil lamp....

and the bottom as well, look really cool filled with shells.

The bottom of a butter dish I don't use anymore is perfect for these perfect fighting conchs!

The top of the dish has the shells that mom brought back from Mexico.

A repurposed candle jar is just the right size for my augers and ceriths.

A tall straight vase shows off the spiny oysters aka jewel box shells.

A tall not so straight vase is filled with my 'weathered shells'.

Another candle jar. Just the right size for the nutmegs.

Left side of the table...

Right side of the table. I have more olive shells than I know what to do with! That's just a portion of them.

I had to show you how big this shell is! I bought this in Daytona last year when we went over for a roller derby bout.

Have you ever seen a sand dollar this big? Same shop in Daytona. I had to have it!

Love this table! It adds such a nice beachy feel....just in case you didn't get it from anywhere else in the house hahahaha! This table gets a makeover during holidays, and it's so fun to change it up :)

This glass shelf has been with us for nearly 30 years! Through all of our moves back and forth across the U.S. Hubby is a very good packer!

This shelf is fun to arrange and play with!

The vase (which was my Beta home, it died) is full of fighting conchs. The rose is made from a conch shell, and was a gift from my hubby years ago. Pardon my dust, and remember I've been sick...too sick to dust lol.
I can't remember exactly what the are called, but the purplish whispy thing is one I found in Clearwater. I love those things!!!

I'm still thinking about this one. It needs some work! (and boy do I need to dust!) I totally love that big cluster of barnacles!

Ah, my Tarpon Springs sponge, and whelks. You've seen the whelks in my Christmas decorations! Another purple whispy thing behind the sponge.

And this. THIS is one of my faves! I remember when my parents bought this pitcher and bowl set at an auction when I was a really little girl. I filled the bowl with coral that we have found, and I have some space in the back to add more.

Coming Soon:
The grand kids visit and our trip to the lighthouses!
A new craft I am doing!

I took LOTS of pics at the lighthouses! So may have to do the craft post first.
We shall see!

Until then....
Have fun playing with your seashell treasures!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Playing with Shell Displays

Hello! I'm so glad you could join me again :)

Yesterday I said that I had been rearranging and playing with my shells. Since I do have so many, and I get more inspiration from looking at them, I brought some out of the craft room, and into the rest of the house.

I filled a fish shaped glass platter (that Diane gave to me) with some of my fighting conchs, and put a bowl filled with smaller ones in the middle of it.

They sit on this little 'lobster trap' table. The coconuts we found washed up on Daytona Beach after Sandy went by are beneath the table in the net.

I really love using natural things in my home decor.

Another simple thing I did, was wrap a couple of jars with rope, and fill them with shells.

Decorative vases make great shell containers for display. You can also rob your dishes for neat shaped bowls and platters! This clock was a gift from my daddy, and I love how my St.Augustine Lighthouse photo matches it. The faux coral is the one I won from Deb at Love of the Sea. Love that pop of red, and it draws out the red on the life preserver on the clock.

A little rearranging of the shells on this cool shelf that is above the TV in the entertainment center.
(It's a CD shelf) I've shown this before. When I dust this (which isn't very often to be truthful, lol) I forget which shell was where, so they don't always go back where they were!

An old candle jar filled with volute shells is a nice accent to this shelf of treasures.

A vase, a wine carafe, and a re-purposed candle jar are perfect for this shelf with a photo of hubs and I on Belleair Beach.

These are the scallops Cheri (shell lady) sent to me. I thought the  scallop platter was the perfect touch for these.

They are next to my small horseshoe crab....

in front of this shell lamp....

on this dolphin table in the corner. I still love my coral walls, too!

More scallops on a nautical plate. I think the last time I found a bunch of calico scallops was 2 years ago. They've been kind of scarce the last couple of years. I haven't found more than a handful of them over the last 2 summers, or jingles either!

I have had this bowl forever! The pretty blue really shows off the white thick lucinas. Love this!

Our Washington sand dollars, with the fossil Josh (our son in law) found in the Gulf while swimming and diving. I did a post on it, here. The urchins are here until I find a better place for them ;)

Cone shells in a starfish bowl that I picked up at the thrift store.

The matching starfish has my pieces of junonia, and my whole little junonia is buried under there, and my almost a whole junonia is under there, too. I have a couple more pieces to add to this. Maybe one day I'll have enough to glue them all together and make one BIG junonia! LOL!

These are all on my boat table, which was a gift from my dad :)

The coral bowl and the blue dish need to be swapped! Okay, I see another rearrangement coming up lol.

And of course I messed around with the dolphin table and my glass shelf in the dining room!

I'll  save that for next time:)

I still have TONS of shells in the craft room, too. My mind is constantly conjuring up uses for them. I'm sure I have many years of projects to play with!

The highlight of my summer was a visit from my daughters family! And we got to keep the grand kids for a month!!! We visited a couple of lighthouses, went to the beach, out on the boat, and the kids spent a LOT of time in the pool! More pics to come, and I'll eventually get to the charm bracelet I made for my grand daughter.

What was the highlight of your summer?

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